A Curveball On The Hiring Debate

The New York Fed (Empire) Index came in either dismal or disastrous depending on which sector you looked at. Away from the general data, we found the section on hiring plans to be quite eye-opening. Look at this: In a series of supplementary questions, respondents were queried about difficulties in finding workers proficient in certain types of skills; they were also asked to estimate training costs to bring new hires up to speed. Manufacturers’ responses to the August survey were not substantially different from those recorded in March 2007, when these questions were last asked. The workers seen as most difficult to find were those with advanced computer skills, followed by those who were punctual and reliable. Training costs to bring a typical new hire up to speed were estimated at 6½ percent of annual compensation, on average. Firms also reported that the wage or salary of a typical worker was expected to rise by about 2½ percent, on average, over the next twelve months. Firms report that they are having difficulty finding people “who were punctual and reliable”. In the worst job market since the Great Depression, people don’t show up for work on time? That really is depressing. Has the nation become that spoiled?

Art Cashin, Cashin’s Comments 8.16.11

Comments are closed.